Published on December 20th, 2017 | by Nicolas Zart0
Chanje Electric Van = Serious Fleet Industry Game Changer (Part 2)
December 20th, 2017 by Nicolas Zart
In part 1 of this Chanje electric van review, we looked at the Chanje electric van’s background and some of its features. In this second part, we take a look at what Chanje brings to the table for fleet owners if they turn from simple vehicles operators to energy management and vehicle coordination. Chanje is a game changer, and this time, pun intended.
Chanje Design & Implementation
The Chanje electric van was designed over the course of 5 years as a global platform in conjunction with partner FDG Group. That was done with fewer than 50 people to the tune of nearly $1 billion. The initial units are built by FDG while Chanje looks for an assembly plant in the US. Chanje says it can now leverage FDG’s manufacturing might in China. Chanje established itself in the US in 2015 and has led the global product development process. You can read more about Chanje’s design and implementation in Steve Hanley’s story about Chanje following 125 orders from Ryder Systems, Kyle Field’s first and second articles about the company, my first article about Chanje, and CleanTechnica‘s first about the company.
The Chanje Test Drive
Scoop! It’s official, we test drove the electric van, and it was fun as heck, even through the midday Los Angeles traffic. The Chanje is surprisingly easy to drive despite its imposing size. Since the electric motors are behind on the rear axles, the van radius is very generous and practically turns on a dime.
In order to test this, we hung two U-turns. The first one was in the middle of a street from the furthest right lane to the first opposite left lane. We then tried the absolute test, something that happens to almost every delivery truck that has made the wrong turn. We made a U-turn from the furthest left lane at a stop side onto the furthest right opposite lane on a four-lane street. The Chanje managed this without problems.
If you are familiar with the Mercedes Sprinter, you might have an idea of how well a van’s turning radius can be. The Chanje’s is even better than the former. It also doesn’t have a noisy diesel engine vibrating under your feet. This makes it easier to drive all day long without walking away with a headache.
We are impressed with the amount of work Chanje put into its elegant electric van. We can see how the company understand the needs of fleet owners well and has a tool to offer them that will save them money in the long run. Not only was this our biggest EV to test drive to date, but it was also one of the easiest to handle … and we parallel parked with it!
As to the price, it hasn’t been announced yet. But we do know that Chanje works with large fleet customers to provide renewable energy and charging capabilities as a turnkey service which should make it even more appealing to fleet owners. Chanje strives to support fleet owner organizations as they transition to cleaner energy systems that are more secure, stable, local, reliable, renewable, and, of course, much more efficient. This will happen as a microgrid depot solution centering around four components: Renewable Energy, Charging Infrastructure, Energy Storage, and Grid Services.
Chanje is working with eMotorWerks for its charging infrastructure and smart-grid solutions. eMotorWerks provides its line of intelligent and cloud-connected JuiceNet charging stations and software solutions.
These stations will give commercial fleet operators access to a customized cloud-based JuiceNet control platform to intelligently manage EV charging, including remote access control, automatic energy management to avoid peak pricing, smart algorithms to maximize charging with available renewable energy from the grid, and electricity usage tracking.
eMotorWerks’ JuiceNet will supply the automated platform that will allow the charging of multiple units while taking into consideration peak load settings and load balancing. By automating load management, this will help Chanje’s fleet customers lower their operating costs and enable utilities and grid operators to avoid excessive strain on local electrical circuits and the grid. Using the JuiceNet platform means Chanje fleet operators can take advantage of energy service programs, such as demand response activities which benefit their local electric grids and lower the fleet’s total cost of operation.
Another benefit of using Chanje’s charging management system is that onsite battery storage is integrated into the depot infrastructure This. means fleet owners can capture and store renewable energy during the day used to recharge EVs at night. This increases a fleet owner’s flexibility.
Chanje Is A Game Changer For Fleet Operators
Chanje is essentially giving fleet operators the ability to become key players in the energy field, by offering large fleet customers charging solutions and the ability to better leverage renewable energy. It is not too far-fetched to see fleet owners becoming 100% renewable energy operators while offering to move around goods at a fraction of the cost they do so today.
We’ve seen a lot of game changers in the EV industry but perhaps none has captured how much the electric platform can offer clients and, in this case, fleet owners. We look forward to seeing the Chanje electric van appear on our roads and liberate fleet owners from the petroleum stranglehold which has only driven up costs for consumers down the road.